Calendar Picks and Clicks: Sept. 21-27, 2012


“Wtf Live!” @ Riot 
Marc Maron’s refreshingly honest — not to mention popular — podcast features one-on-one interviews with some of the biggest names in entertainment. Tonight, the stand-up comedian hosts “WTF With Marc Maron” before a live audience as part of Riot: L.A.’s Alternative Comedy Festival. Sat. 8 p.m. $20. Downtown Independent Theater, 251 S. Main St., downtown. (312) 730-4000.



“Visual Variations”
This new exhibition at American Jewish University features the versatile work of artists Lorraine Bubar, Ellen Cantor and Silvia Wagensberg. Bubar’s paper cut scenes of lily ponds, vines and trees express the struggles and coexistence of nature; Cantor’s photographs of fruits and vegetables impaled with wires and screws confront the hardships of living with disabilities and thoughts of mortality; and Wagensberg explores her interest in communication and perception with paintings of pictorial language, including gesture drawings and the forms and symbols of the written word. Sun. “Meet the Artists” reception. 3-5 p.m. Gallery hours: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. (Sunday-Thursday), 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (Friday). Through Dec. 16. Free. American Jewish University, Platt and Borstein Galleries, 15600 Mulholland Drive, Los Angeles. (310) 476-9777, Ext. 201.

“The Exodus of Ethiopian Jews”
Micha Feldmann, former Israeli consul-general to Ethiopia and one of the chief architects of Operation Solomon — which rescued 14,000 Ethiopian Jews from shocking conditions and brought them to Israel in 1991— discusses his new book, “On Wings of Eagles: The Secret Operation of the Ethiopian Exodus.” Told through diary entries and the stories from Ethiopian Jews in their own words, “On Wings of Eagles” follows Feldmann’s decade-long effort to free a besieged people. Sun.10 a.m.-noon. Free (RSVP requested). Jewish Federation of the Greater San Gabriel & Pomona Valley, 550 S. Second Ave., Arcadia. (626) 744-9904.

Elliott Yamin
The soulful r&b singer and second runner-up on the fifth season of “American Idol” performs at Hotel Cafe. Expect to hear material from his latest album, “Let’s Get to What’s Real,” featuring the lead single, “3 Words.” 21 and older. Mon. 9 p.m. Tickets available at door only. Hotel Café, 1623 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 461-2040.



Yom Kippur
Click here for a list of free services. 




Just in time for the election season, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Mamet brings his satirical take on presidential politics to the Mark Taper Forum. Ed Begley Jr. (“Arrested Development”) plays Charles Smith, an unpopular president whose prospects of a second term are looking grim a week before the election. His funds are drying up, his poll numbers are in the single digits, his lesbian speechwriter (Felicity Huffman) seems to have defected, and his chief of staff (Rod McLachlan) has given up, but Smith isn’t ready to throw in the towel just yet. Excoriating politics in general, Mamet’s “November” is an equal-opportunity offender that tackles issues like gay marriage, campaign finance, terrorism and presidential pardons. In previews through Oct. 6. Opens Oct. 7 and runs through Nov. 4. Mark Taper Forum at the Music Center, 135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. (213) 628-2772.



“Vote for My Story: Political Narratives and the 2012 Election”
Marty Kaplan, Jewish Journal columnist and the Norman Lear professor of entertainment, media and society at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, moderates a panel discussion on whether a better understanding of political narrative can help make sense of the current political culture. Featured speakers include Joyce Appleby, professor emerita of history at UCLA; George Lakoff, professor of cognitive science and linguistics at UC Berkeley; and writer-producer John Romano (“Hill Street Blues,” “L.A. Law”). A reception follows. Thu. 7 p.m. Free. The Ray Stark Family Theatre, George Lucas Building, USC School of Cinematic Arts, 900 W. 34th St., Los Angeles. (213) 740-0483.



Israeli artists Adam Berg, Ofri Cnaani, Dor Guez, Nir Hod, Reuven Israel, Gilad Ratman and Rona Yefman join local and international artists in showcasing their work at this contemporary and modern art fair. Now in its second year, the three-day event attracts dealers, collectors, museums and art enthusiasts. Fri. Through Sept. 30. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. (Friday, Saturday and Sunday). $20 (adult, one-day pass), $15 (students and seniors, one-day pass), $30 (adult, three-day pass), $25 (students and seniors, three-day pass). Barker Hangar, Santa Monica Airport, 3021 Airport Ave., Santa Monica. (213) 763-5890.

American Jewish Committee (AJC) co-sponsors a nonpartisan forum to address the issues facing the 2012 U.S. presidential election. Noted speakers and writers — including Journal columnists David Lehrer, president of human relations group Community Advocates, and Raphael Sonenshein, executive director of the Edmund G. “Pat” Brown Institute of Public Affairs at California State University, Los Angeles — debate the significant domestic and global issues of the day and what they mean for Jews, Israel and the world. Rabbi Marc Dworkin, director of AJC in Orange County, moderates. Rabbi Arnold Rachlis of University Synagogue deliveries introductory remarks. Fri. 7 p.m. Free. University Synagogue, 3400 Michelson Drive, Irvine. (949) 553-3535.

Calendar Girls picks and kicks for March 1 – 7


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You don’t have to leave Southern California to gamble tonight. Women of Reform Judaism and the Brotherhood of Temple Beth Torah are sponsoring a wild Vegas-style soiree to rival parties on The Strip. Temple Beth Torah Casino Night is a good reason to lose money for a good cause: Anything the house wins through roulette, blackjack and craps goes to support the activities of the synagogue. If you’re feeling extra generous, they’re soliciting the help of volunteers to run the tables, deal cards, bartend and decorate the venue. The bonus is everybody wins when you buy a ticket. 6:30 p.m. $36. Temple Beth Torah, 7620 Foothill Road, Ventura. (805) 647-4181. ” target=”_top”>

Rock out with Persian Jewish Singles, dancing the night away with vivacious disc jockey Ariel Rashti serving up the hottest club hits. Take advantage of the decadent wine and martini bar and nibble on kosher hors d’oeuvres while mingling with Jewish professionals ages 20 to 40. Who knows what new face might grab your attention or what familiar face will suddenly hold romantic appeal! 8 p.m.- 1 a.m. Free. Samueli Jewish Campus, 1 Federation Way, Irvine. (949) 435-3484. ” border = 0 vspace = ‘8’ alt=”Matthew Boger, Tim Zaal”>
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Why let the holidays melt away when you can bring them back to life with joyous songs in “Around the Year in Song and Story: A Musical Tour of the Jewish Calendar.” Join Benny Friedman in concert, sponsored by the Chabad of Conejo, as he revives the musical wonder of holidays like Rosh Hashanah, Chanukah and Passover. Rabbi Moshe D. Bryski will narrate the classical tunes while recounting sacred holiday stories and insights. 7-10 p.m. $18-$25 (general), $180 (concert sponsor, includes recognition in concert program and VIP seating). JCC at Milken, 22622 Vanowen St., West Hills. (818) 991-0991. ” target=”_top”>

In his film “House of the Generals,” Dan Spigel traces the plight of one family and their struggle to survive against a historical backdrop that claimed the lives of 10 million Jewish Ukrainians. Through revolution, love and war, Spigel’s film bridges the dictatorships of Stalin and Hitler from the Russian Revolution to World War II and the Holocaust, illuminating the tremendous loss of life that permeated the first half of the 20th century. Following the screening, audience members are invited to stay for a special Q-and-A with the filmmaker. 7 p.m. $5. The Workmen’s Circle, 1525 S. Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 552-2007. ” vspace = ‘8’ alt=”Doron Kornbluth”>
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Redheaded Andrea Sabesin never quite fit in. Growing up, she was the only Jewish student at an Episcopal school, the only non-Orthodox student at a Hebrew day school and one of the only white students at a mostly black school. Exploring this theme of identity, the actress/writer is back in “Girl, Your Hair’s On Fire! Season 2,” a follow-up to her previous well-received one-woman show. Sharing personal anecdotes and insights, Sabesin uses wit and physical comedy (sans the clich�(c)d kvetchy tone) to cover topics such as her Southern Jewish family, being single, and her many stints as a wedding singer. 8 p.m. Through March 11. $15. Acme Comedy Theatre, 135 N. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 822-1146.

Vintage Israeli posters, MethodFest, ‘Bush Is Bad’

Saturday the 31st

Theater with a historical lesson comes to The Other Space at Santa Monica Playhouse, with the guest production of “Black and Bluestein.” The dramedy written by Jerry Mayer takes place in early ’60s St. Louis, and tells the story of Jewish homeowner Jeff Bluestein and the issues he faces while deliberating whether to sell his home — in a largely white Jewish neighborhood — to a black family.

Through April 29. $22-$25. 1211 4th St., Santa Monica. (323) 960-4418. ” target=”_blank”>

Monday the 2nd

Another independent film worth your attention is Russell Brown’s “Race You to the Bottom,” which opens this week. The film focuses on the relationship between two friends, Maggie and Nathan. Maggie is straight, and Nathan identifies as gay, and both of them are involved with other people. Despite all of this, however, the two are also in the midst of a passionate affair and decide to take a romantic road trip to Napa together.
Special screenings: Sat., March 31, 7:30 p.m. Post-screening Q-and-A with Russell Brown.

Sun., April 1, 7:30 p.m. 2-for-1 “Girls Grab Your Best Gay/Gays Grab Your Best Girl” promotion. The Regent Showcase Theatre, 614 N. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles. ” target=”_blank”>

Wednesday the 4th

AFI goes behind the music at the Arclight in their sixth-annual Music Documentary Series. Tonight’s opening night features the 1982 classic “Pink Floyd: The Wall.” Subsequent Wednesdays will screen “Buena Vista Social Club,” “Punk Rock Eats its Own: A Film About Face to Face,” “Shut Up and Sing,” “Rock the Bells” and “Last Days of Left Eye.” Post screening Q-and-A’s with filmmakers are also planned.

Through May 9. 8 p.m. $10-$11 (per screening). 6360 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 464-4226. ” target=”_blank”>

Friday the 6th

Following a successful 15-month run in New York, “Bush Is Bad” makes its West Coast debut this evening. Those making up that 30-something percent approval rating will want to ignore this suggestion; others, however, may welcome a show with a bit of comic relief, described as “the hysterical love-child of ‘Forbidden Broadway’ and ‘The Daily Show.'”

Through May 20. $35. NoHo Arts Center, 11136 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood. (818) 508-7101.

7 Days in The Arts

Saturday, January 21

Laugh it up at Hillel at Pierce and Valley colleges’ annual Comedy Nite this evening. Nationally known stand-up comedians keep the people happy and entertained, with the help of silent auction and raffle. Actor Tom Bosley, a.k.a. “Happy Days'” beloved Mr. C., will be honored as a positive Jewish role model, thanks to both his professional achievements and his commitment to the community. The event helps support Hillel programming.

7 p.m. (auction), 8 p.m. (show). $30-$35. Pierce College Main Theater, Performing Arts Building, 6201 Winnetka Ave., Woodland Hills. (818) 887-5901.

Sunday, January 22

Babs fans be warned. No icon — not Streisand, not Patinkin — will be spared at this evening’s musical parody show, “Forbidden Broadway.” The performance troupe is well-known for lovingly mocking productions of the Great White Way, and tonight will be no different, save for the Jewish twist they’ve added just for their University of Judaism audience.

7:30 p.m. $40. 15600 Mulholland Drive, Bel Air. R.S.V.P., (310) 440-1246.

Monday, January 23

It is our duty to inform you of the latest Albert Brooks film, “Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World.” Brooks plays himself in the semi-autobiographical story about a comedian chosen for a special government assignment to travel to India and Pakistan to learn what makes Muslims laugh. However, it must also be said that if you are looking for comedy, we’re not sure that this film is where you’ll find it.

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Tuesday, January 24

Local author makes good. Writer M. L. Malcolm signs her debut novel, “Silent Lies,” this evening at Barnes and Noble, Encino. Meet her, and pick up her story about a poor Jewish Hungarian boy with a knack for languages whose adventures take him from post-World War I Hungary to Shanghai.

7:30 p.m. Free. 16461 Ventura Blvd., Encino.

Wednesday, January 25

Collectors and wannabes hobnob with high art society at tonight’s opening night gala for the Los Angeles Art Show. Pay the big money to take it in tonight, or significantly less to wait till tomorrow (through Sunday). Featured artists include plenty of big hitters like Ansel Adams and Roy Lichtenstein, and the show also serves as centerpiece to Art Week Plus, a grouping of art shows and events around Los Angeles from Jan. 19-29.

$150 (gala), $9-$18 (general admission). Barker Hangar at Santa Monica Airport, 3021 Airport Ave., Santa Monica. ” width=”15″ height=”1″ alt=””>

Thursday, January 26

Thursday becomes eclectic. Tonight at UCLA’s Royce Hall, “UCLA Live” presents Israeli folk/rock/world beat songstress Chava Alberstein in concert with Parisian modern gypsy-klezmer octet Les Yeux Noirs. And the beat goes on….

8 p.m. $22–$38. UCLA Royce Hall, Westwood. ” width=”15″ height=”1″ alt=””>

Friday, January 27

A “Black and Yiddish Film Festival” comes to the Skirball this week, the first program of its kind to be developed. Focusing on a shared moment in history, the 1930s-1950s, in which black and Yiddish Americans both experienced a creative renaissance in film, the fest will screen three Yiddish and five black movies of the era. Playing tonight is a double feature of “Lang Ist Der Veg (Long Is the Road)” and “Song of Freedom.”

$5-$8. 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. R.S.V.P., (866) 468-3399.

A Blizzard of Flicks for Jewish Eyes

At the Sundance wintertime festival, which began Jan. 19 and runs through Jan. 29, Jewish viewers can check out a blizzard of flicks, including:

Opening night film, “Friends With Money” (Jennifer Aniston, Jason Isaacs), spotlighting successful adults approaching midlife crisis. It’s the latest feature by Jewish writer-director Nicole Holofcener, whose self-deprecating comedy-dramas have been compared to the work of Woody Allen — not surprising, because her stepfather produced all of Allen’s films, and she virtually grew up on his sets.

Paul McGuigan’s “Lucky Number Slevin,” revolving around a Jewish mobster, “The Rabbi”; his arch rival (Morgan Freeman), and the chaos that ensues when the Jew declines to pick up his phone on Shabbat.

Tony Krawitz’s “Jewboy” (Australia), about an Orthodox youth searching for his place in the world (See last week’s story at

Anders Thomas Jensen’s “Adam’s Apples” (Denmark), a black comedy spotlighting a disgruntled neo-Nazi sentenced to community service at church

Yoav Shamir’s documentary, “Five Days” (Israel), on the historic evacuation of 8,000 even more disgruntled Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip.

Frieda Lee Mock’s “Wrestling With Angels: Playwright Tony Kushner,” which profiles the Pulitzer Prize winner who was raised Jewish on a bayou and channels Jewish themes into his work.

Alan Berliner’s “Wide Awake,” a self-portrait of the odd filmmaker’s insomnia, manias and obsessiveness.

Lian Lunson’s “Leonard Cohen I’m Your Man” (See main story).

Rex Bloomstein’s documentary, “KZ” (United Kingdom), about contemporary Germans living in the shadow of the Mauthausan concentration camp (See last week’s piece).

Tiffany Shlain’s short documentary, “The Tribe: An Unorthodox, Unauthorized History of the Jewish People and the Barbie Doll,” on how the busty blond figure — created by a Jewish American — serves as a metaphor of Jewish assimilation and identity

For film schedules and information, visit

Simultaneously, the sixth annual SchmoozeDance and KidzDance festivals — the Jewish counterpart to Sundance on Jan. 20-21 — kick off with a screening of Amos Gitai’s “Free Zone at Temple Har Shalom” in Park City, Utah. The Israeli film focuses on a confused American (Natalie Portman) on a road trip with a bickering Israeli and Palestinian. For information, visit


7 Days in The Arts

Saturday, August 6

While we are of the opinion that adult twins who dress alike are about as cheesy or creepy as you can get, we can’t speak for the Rosenblum Twins’ comedic skills. The identically attractive Jewish girls perform their bit, “The Separation Anxiety Tour,” as special guests in tonight’s Masquers Cabaret lineup.

9:30 p.m. $15 (cover, plus two-drink minimum). 8334 W. Third St., Los Angeles. (323) 653-4848.


Sunday, August 7

Down-home blues and pretty bluegrass are just some of the sounds you’ll hear today at the Skirball’s “American Roots Musical Festival.” Acclaimed blues and gospel performers The Holmes Brothers and zyedeco artist Geno Delafose headline the daylong extravaganza that highlights our musical past.

2-7 p.m. $5-$15 (general), free (children under 12). 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (866) 468-3399.

Monday, August 8

The dirt behind the manicured lawns of fictional suburban town, Agrestic, Calif., is “Weeds,” a new Showtime comedy series. Created and executive produced by Jenji Kohan (Emmy Award-winner and sister of “Will and Grace” exec producer/creator David Kohan), the show stars Mary-Louise Parker as a different kind of desperate housewife. The widowed mother of two turns to selling pot to pay the bills after her husband’s sudden death. Elizabeth Perkins and Kevin Nealon also star. The show premieres this week.

10 p.m. ” width=”15″ height=”1″ alt=””>

Tuesday, August 9

Cuz you can’t get enough industry talk in this city, head downtown tonight to partake in yet another conversation on the state of Hollywood through Zócalo at California Plaza. Robert J. Dowling, 15-year Hollywood Reporter editor-in-chief, and L.A. Times columnist Joel Stein discuss both the culture and the business of this business — and, most importantly, TomKat.

7 p.m. Free. 351 S. Olive St., Los Angeles. (213) 403-0416.

Wednesday, August 10

For one heck of a hora film, see Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn in “Wedding Crashers,” about two friends who crash weddings to hook up with women. The opening montage includes the two hamming it up at various ethnic weddings, including a Jewish one.

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Thursday, August 11

The rich diversity of L.A.’s religious community is on display in photographer Robert Berger’s latest book, “Sacred Spaces: Historical Houses of Worship in the City of Angels.” The book’s title and contents also make up the Skirball Cultural Center’s new exhibition of Images representing L.A.’s religious sanctuaries of past and present. It opens today.

Runs through Nov. 27. Free. 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 440-4500.

Friday, August 12

For escapist humor don’t look to Theatre 40’s latest production. Jules Feiffer’s biting black comedy, “Little Murders,” will offer you humor all right, but there will be no escape. Set in an urban, violent Manhattan, the play centers on one family coping with the usual American family dysfunction, complete with overbearing mother, passive father and sexually confused son. It plays through Sept. 3.

8 p.m. (Thurs.-Sat.), 2 p.m. (Sat., Aug. 13, 20, 27 and Sept. 3; Sun., Aug. 7). $18-$20. Reuben Cordova Theatre, 241 Moreno Drive, Beverly Hills High Campus. R.S.V.P., (310) 364-0535.

The Tao of Woody


First came God. Then came Godot. Then came Woody Allen. Actually, none of them ever showed up — not in the play “Waiting for Godot” or the newly acclaimed short feature film parodying it, “Waiting for Woody Allen.” In the 16-minute feature, two Chasidim — Mendel and Yossel — sit in Central Park waiting for the venerable filmmaker to show up and give their lives meaning. In the meantime, against this autumn backdrop of one day, they argue in their Yiddish-tinged accents about whether they should give up religion or they should wait for Woody, nu?

While “The Great One” might never make an appearance in this droll existentialist film, recent events may prove that there is a God: “Waiting for Woody Allen,” garnered its director, Michael Rainin, a $1-million budget to direct a film.

Beginning this year, the L.A. International Short Film Festival, which took place Sept. 7-13, chose four directors out of the 500 filmmakers for its Discovering New Artists Award. The winner, Rainin, will direct a feature-length film with talent attached.

“It’s my dream come true,” the 29-year-old director said about his first film. Rainin decided to make a short film about a year and a half ago, when he moved to Los Angeles, following a six-year stint in New York as a writer and a producer.

“Instead of spending $40,000 to go to film school, I decided to spend the money to make a film,” he said.

He scoured Craig’s List for a script (hey, those actually get made!) and was struck by Jonathan Brown and Daniel Wechler’s “Waiting for Woody Allen.”

“I grew up with the Jewish humor of my grandfather and father my whole life,” Rainin said of his father’s Russian Jewish family. “And he turned me on to Woody Allen’s film at a young age.”

Now, the production designer’s prize is to direct to direct “Learning to Fly,” a romantic comedy which has not yet been cast but is set to start filming in March. And then what?

“I want to make films,” Rainin said. “I want to make interesting and profound films for the rest of my life — hopefully this is just the beginning.”

From Woody’s lips to God’s ears.

For more information, visit

Latkes Lose Again

by Sarah Price Brown, Contributing Writer

The Chanukah stamp has a new look for the first time since the United States and Israel jointly issued the stamp in 1996. The U.S. Postal Service dedicated the new design Oct. 15 in New York. It will be available in post offices starting Saturday, Oct. 16.

The stamp, part of a holiday series, has for years featured a menorah of brightly colored candles. The new design displays a dreidel from Jerusalem in front of letters spelling “Hanukkah.”

Ethel Kessler, the stamp art director, said using a dreidel was not her first choice.

“A dreidel is playful and fun, but I was looking for something more serious,” she said. She visited the Jewish Museum of New York and the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles in search of ideas.

Kessler saw a menorah at the Skirball that had candleholders in the shape of the Statue of Liberty. She liked the symbol, which she thought represented religious freedom. But the intricate menorah was not right for the small stamp.

Kessler considered depicting an ancient menorah to show how long Jews have been celebrating the holiday. But she wondered whether the meaning would come across.

Then, the art director had the idea to show an old manuscript. But that would work for Purim, not Chanukah, she decided.

“I kept coming back to the joy of the holiday,” Kessler said. It was the dreidel that best captured the playful spirit of the celebration.

The winning dreidel belongs to a rabbi’s collection. It has a “quality of craft that’s interesting,” she said.

Kessler also liked that it depicts Jerusalem.

She added text behind the image to make the stamp “contemporary and understandable to a wide audience.”

Sixty million copies have been printed, according to Frances Frazier, a Postal Service official involved in publicizing the stamp.

For more information, visit

7 Days in the Arts


The band is called JEW and blatant Jew pride is reason enough for a shout-out. But these guys also have a show tonight. Their sound is best described as alt-rock, and they name the Police and Nirvana as strong influences. Support the tribe and check out their show, at midnight at The Joint. $7. 8771 Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. For more information, call (310) 275-2619.


Be prepared for an irreverent take on the Bible in Venice Mootney Company’s play, “Meat: a Bible Tragi-comedy.” This version includes a gay-male love triangle and plenty of feminist and media-critical commentary. And by the way, they’ve turned the sacred Temple into a barbecue pit. Confused? Intrigued? We’re pretty sure that’s the point. See it today at a special Memorial Day Sunday Barbecue-Benefit preview. Runs Sundays through June. 7 p.m. $12.50 (general), $10 (seniors and groups of ten). Hopkins House Studio, 11736 W. Pico Blvd., West Los Angeles. For reservations, call (310) 586-0114.

Maybe you know him as the creator of the Comedy Store or maybe as Pauly Shore’s dad. Either way, Sammy Shore’s name is synonymous with comedy. His show “…But First, Sammy Shore!” is extended through Sept. 1, but why wait? Take in some laughs at 5:30 p.m. Sundays only. $17.50 (general), discounts available for students, teachers, seniors and groups of 16 or more. The Other Space at Santa Monica Playhouse, 1211 Fourth St., Santa Monica. For reservations, call (310) 394-9779, ext. 1.



It’s your moral duty to make the most of this glorious, no-work, sunshiny Monday. So pile the kids into the SUV and get your tuchus to the Old Pasadena Summer Fest. They’ve got art exhibits, a Playboy Jazz festival, food from various local restaurants and an interactive Sports Zone. Just leave the picnic and dog at home–they’re not allowed. Free. 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Central Park, Fair Oak Avenue (two blocks south of Colorado Boulevard), Pasadena. For more information, call (626) 797-6803.


Mark Rothko, Piet Mondrian, Paul Cézanne and Willem de Kooning’s contributions to the world of art are undeniable. Attend a panel and open discussion on these artists’ reflections at the end of their careers, with Getty Museum Director Thomas Crow, USC professor Nancy Troy and University of Texas professor Richard Shiff. 7 p.m. Free. J. Paul Getty Museum, Harold M. Williams Auditorium, 1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles. For reservations, call (310) 440-7300.

They’ve given you fair warning to lock up your bunnies again. Penn and Teller are back in town, prepared to entertain you with more of their comedic magic. But better grab those tickets before they disappear — the odd couple is only around for one week this time. Runs May 28-June 2. 8 p.m. (Tuesday-Friday), 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. (Saturday), 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. (Sunday). $42-$52. Wilshire Theatre, 8440 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. For reservations, call (213) 365-3500.


If you think Beethoven is yawn-inducing or stale, consider the Ojai Music Festival, where classical works annually get freshened up. This year, the festival is built around two contemporary forces: the Emerson String Quartet and pianist Marino Formenti. The Emersons will link the final quartets of Shostakovich with those of Beethoven, while Formenti plans on three performances that will include music composed by Jewish prisoners in Nazi camps. Continues through Sunday, June 2. For more information, call (805) 646-2094


God and some contemporary literary works have inspired Greenway Art Alliance’s two-part, one-act series, “Acts of Love and Redemption.” Series A consists of adaptations of Philip Roth’s “The Conversion of the Jews,” Flannery O’Connor’s “The River” and Judy Blume’s “Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret.” All three explore our sometimes peculiar relationships with the Almighty. 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays through June 7. $15. Greenway Court Theatre, 544 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles. For reservations, call (323) 655-4402.


Margaret Handwerker (aptly named) really does spin tales. Working on a large loom using hand-dyed and hand-spun wools, Handwerker creates colorful tapestries that incorporate biblical images and stories. Two of her works, “Six Days of Creation” and “Noah’s Ark,” will be displayed through Aug. 25 at the Skirball Cultural Center. noon-5 p.m. (Tuesday-Saturday), 11 a.m.-5 p.m. (Sunday). $8 (general), $6 (seniors and students), free (members and children under 12). 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. For more information, call (310) 440-4500.

Picks and kicks for February 23-29


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Israel is not the only one celebrating its 60th Anniversary this year. Temple Beth David, a Reform synagogue in the San Gabriel Valley, also was founded in 1948 and is marking the event with a 60th Anniversary Concert featuring Grammy Award-winning composer and singer Doug Cotler and singer Julie Silver. Underwritten by the Kohl Youth Fund and the Dorothy Singer Simon Music Fund, the concert is being held in memory of Dorothy Singer Simon, the synagogue’s first choir director. 7 p.m. $5 (children), $10 (adults), $25 (families). Temple Beth David, 9677 Longden Ave., Temple City. (626) 287-9994. ” border = 0 vspace = ‘8’ alt=””>

The feature documentary, “Salud!” (which means “health” in Spanish) examines the role Cuba endeavors to play in making healthcare a global birthright. It explores the contributions of 28,000 Cuban health professionals working in 68 countries, as well as the 30,000 medical students in Cuba and how they aspire to improve access to quality healthcare around the world. 7 p.m. $5. The Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Ring, 1525 S. Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 552-2007. ” target=”_blank”>

Mehnaz M. Afridi believes Jews and Muslims have more in common than they think. An academic with an extensive interest in modern Islamic identity, Judaism and the Jewish Diaspora, Afridi is committed to stimulating new dialogue on the religious, cultural and literary ties and tensions between Jews and Muslims. For three hours, she’ll espouse her wisdom on “An Illuminated History of Jewish-Muslim Relations” and their many, often overlooked, commonalities. 3-6 p.m. $20-$25. Levantine Cultural Center at Pacific Arts Center, 10469 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 657-5511. ” target=”_blank”>

Drums can drive you crazy if your teenage son is playing them at midnight, but they can also be a vehicle for spiritual enlightenment. Let the Nashuva Healing Drum Circle With Jamie Papish show you the power of hand drumming and ancient rhythms in connecting you to your own rhythmic being. Experienced and beginning drummers are welcome to join the class. 12-1:30 p.m. $10-$15. Pacific Arts Center and Dance Studios, 10469 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles. ” border = 0 vspace = ‘8’ hspace = ‘8’ align = ‘left’ alt=””>
If you missed Tony Blair in January, it’s not too late to get in on the action because this month’s guest at American Jewish University’s Public Lecture Series is the infamous (or famous, depending on which side of the aisle you vote) Karl